Chiang Mai Creative City Delegation to the US
Part 1 of the action packed trip
Members of the CMCC delegation show off their U.S.
Department of State certficates.
By Martin Venzky-Stalling
On 19 February 2010, the unofficial birthdate of the Chiang Mai Creative City
(CMCC) initiative, the then Governor Amonrapun Nimmanandh declared that Chiang
Mai should send a delegation to the US to learn from creative and innovative
regions there. It took two years for this idea to come to fruition and he, one
of the fathers of the initiative, was not able to join. On 2nd September 2012, a
CMCC delegation of ten representatives from different organizations left Chiang
Mai for an almost two week visit to the United States of America by invitation
from the US Department of State. The itinerary was already a challenge, three,
almost four cities, were to be visited and about 50 meetings had been arranged.
The group arrived in San Francisco where on the first day the group had the rare
opportunity for some sightseeing, shopping at Macy’s and dining in Professor Nat
Vorayot’s (CMCC Chairman) favorite restaurant in San Francisco’s extensive China
The highlights of the next day were meetings at Stanford University in Silicon
Valley. The Group met with distinguished academics such as Professor William
Miller, a well-known writer on high-tech clusters, and Professor Henry
Etzkowitz, the founder of the triple-helix concept. Another highlight was the
visit to BIO-X, an interdisciplinary center for biotechnology related R&D. All
agreed that this was an interesting role model for the Northern Science Park in
Following days saw meetings with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP)
where the group learned about how entrepreneurship is part of the DNA of the Bay
area (Silicon Valley) and students at Stanford must learn to work well with
others in teams or ventures. In the afternoon, the group met the delegation of
IT entrepreneurs from Chile’s prospering IT scene, before having some more time
in San Francisco. Khun Premruedee of NOHMEX fulfilled her dream and visited to
the Golden Gate Bridge.
The group arranged to visit IBM’s massive and futuristic Almaden Research Center
near San Jose before flying to Austin, Texas.
On their first day in Austin, the group was greeted by Kevin Jones, Director of
Austin, Texas’ Economic Growth and Redevelopment Office. Mr. Jones was behind
Austin’s ascendance as the first CITY to the International Science Park
Assocation (IASP). In other words, this global organisation accepted that the
entire city of Austin is a kind creative and innovation city. After meeting with
representatives from Austin entrepreneur scene (Gary Hoover and Bijoy Goswami),
the group went to the famous IC2 and Austin Technology Incubator, both at the
University of Texas, Austin, to discuss issues related to technology transfer,
collaborative R&D and incubation. They later focused also on the opportunity to
bring ATI’s three-day start-up weekend (3DS) to Chiang Mai. The evening was
concluded with a reception and dinner at a Thai Restaurant in Austin, during
which each member was bestowed the honor of being an Honorary Citizen of the
City of Austin, though rumor had it that they would now also have to pay taxes
in Austin! The next installment of the trip will be in the next issue of the
Chiang Mai Mail.